Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

Why I Don’t Pick Up the Phone by Julie Bruck

Because it’s the school nurse 
saying one child has written 
on another child and the ink washed 
off but the writing remains: 
We can’t read it, but you’d 
better get down here 
right now and do something. 
Because someone is in a locked ward 
for their own protection, meaning 
someone else had to commit them, 
and now walks around with a heart 
like a hammered anvil. 
Or, another has fallen and even though 
you’re next of kin, you’re too 
far away to catch or comfort. 
I do not lift the headset; sift 
instead what’s coming as the tide 
sorts its affairs. What washes 
up should bear signs of who 
it carries, like an eyelash stuck 
to the edge of a stamp – and no, smartass, 
I don’t mean caller ID. If I can’t 
have the living glance of the guy 
from Western Union when he hands over 
the onionskin, then just give me 
two minutes more at the window, kids 
from the daycare returning to their ark, 
clinging to their red rope like little 
shipwreck survivors, before I pick up 
and let the world name names. 

~ from Monkey Ranch (Brick Books, 2012)


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